Cubs claim 2020 NL Central crown
The Chicago Cubs are the 2020 National League Central champions.
With the Cardinals’ loss to the Brewers Saturday, it solidified the Cubs’ spot atop the division for the first time since 2017.
David Ross and Co. took a moment during their game against the White Sox to celebrate the achievement:
“That was cool,” Ross said of the in-game dugout celebration. “A lot of hard work from those guys. Overcoming a lot this year. Really, a unique season. I couldn’t be prouder of what these guys mean to me and this organization and how they carried themselves. I’m so proud. I got a lot of really good players with good resumes in there. Through a lot of adversity, they brought this organization a National League Central division title.”
With the division locked up, it is now confirmed the Cubs will have at least two more games at Wrigley Field this year. They will host the Wild-Card round beginning next Wednesday.
If the Cubs win that best-of-three series, they will advance to one of the NL bubbles in Texas to play in the Division Series.
The Cubs have their sights set on accomplishing something special this fall and winning the division was just the first step.
“It’s a big exhale right now,” Anthony Rizzo said. “… It’s been a very taxing year for everyone. We’ve had as much fun as we can, but we’ve weathered the storm. Got off to a great start, not play our best baseball, played terribly, played better.
“But at the end, we win the division, we’re playing playoff baseball at Wrigley Field. We’re very excited about it and we’re very appreciative. This is definitely Step 1 to where we want to be.”
The Cubs ultimately lost 9-5 to the White Sox Saturday, but they received a huge boost when Kris Bryant returned to the lineup and collected 2 hits, including a grand slam. It was his first homer in more than six weeks and is an encouraging sign for this team that he’s back and healthy after suffering an oblique injury Monday night in Pittsburgh.
“Yeah, that was nice,” Ross said. “The dugout erupted. Kris had a nice smile on his face. His BP today was impressive. Those are the swings we know he’s capable of having and the at-bats. I thought just the groundball to the right side, that was a promising sign before the homer. Yeah, man, that was nice. Good to see him healthy.”
Rizzo was certainly happy to see his business partner come back healthy and have a nice night.
“That’s huge,” Rizzo said. “With what we’re planning on doing in the postseason, it’s gonna take all of us. Kris is gonna be a huge part of what we’re doing in the postseason.”